10 music venues you must visit in Birmingham
Birmingham is a city with a vibrant cultural scene; there is so much to see and do every day of the week, including live music, theatre and art.
We asked students from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire what their favourite live music venues are in the city, and marked them on a map so you can see how much music you can experience away from your own performance and practice – and many of the best venues are really close to the Conservatoire itself!
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, multiple street food vendors set up under the railway arches in Digbeth to form Digbeth Dining Club. As well as delicious food, the award-winning event also showcases local live music and DJs. The event hosts a variety of music ranging from Hip-Hop to indie to House.
2) Ghetto Golf
A crazy golf course, a music venue, a street food restaurant, a cocktail bar and a graffiti art gallery all in one venue. Ghetto Golf allows you to play 18 holes of crazy golf surrounded by graffiti art while listening to some of the best talent of the Birmingham DJ scene.
An independent live music venue and restaurant for smaller, more intimate gigs from some of Birmingham’s best emerging local bands. As well as the best local live music, The Sunflower Lounge also has a DJ playing everything from 60’s to indie rock to funk and soul.
An old cosy pub with a performance space for regular live music. There is a selection of music events depending on the day of the week, from traditional Irish musicians, jazz, classical compositions, blues, folk and more. As well as live music, the performance space in The Spotted Dog is also used for film and spoken word.
The CBSO is one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Based in the CBSO Centre, the orchestra provides over 100 concerts each year and plays a wide variety of musical genres. From classical to contemporary musical to symphonic disco, the CBSO gets involved in all aspects of music-making in the West Midlands.
The ICC is a key conference venue in Birmingham City Centre. Including Symphony Hall, the ICC has 11 halls that host around 400 events every year.
Symphony Hall is a concert venue within the ICC and stages performances from a variety of genres including jazz, folk, pop, rock, classical and dance.
The renovated factories that make up the Custard Factory are now home to the best of Birmingham’s young creative talent. Many different events take place at the Custard Factory, from music nights and festivals to gigs and poetry readings.
Named after Northern Soul record ‘The Night Owl’ by Booby Paris, this venue is the Midlands’ finest soul and retro club, as well as an intimate live music venue. Situated in the core of Birmingham’s creative quarter, The Night Owl is a hub for soul and guitar-based music.
9) Lab 11
A warehouse club and DJ venue with industrial beams, smoke machines and regular live DJ sets to rival London’s warehouse party scene, Lab 11 provides a platform for the best techno and house DJ’s.
10) O2 Institute
The O2 Institute is an essential part of the live music culture in Birmingham. Since turning into a music venue it has been attracting internationally renowned artists and has been an important part of the city’s live music and club scene.